Thursday, October 27, 2011

We're going on a hump...

I've had five years to reflect my short tenure in the Marine Corps, and I miss it terribly. A lot of the girls that I went to Parris Island are still in, and some have been out for a little bit. I always felt my time in the Corps was sort of robbed from me. I never really wanted out the way I did. Sometimes, I reflect my decisions that were made, and sometimes I wish that things might have been different. But, either way, I can't change the past. I am who I am today, because of yesterday. So, I am jumping a bit in time to my experiences from the final phase of bootcamp.

I graduated from bootcamp in October 2004, and I didn't come out of Parris Island unscathed. I had an injury from the Crucible that should've kept me on the island to recooperate. However, I had enough of the island, and I was desperate to graduate and get off. I had injured my foot during a long six mile hike carrying an Alice pack full of filled ammo cans. I sucked it up with my back wrenching in pain, and kept going. The following day, I noticed that my foot was making a clicking sound, and I just kept marching on. During the final hump, I limped. I was just so excited to be finished. I remember hiking by 4th Bn, and sighing a sound of relief, just to be forced to keep marching on. I knew that the other recruits had the feeling of disappointment, because we weren't finished. It wasn't too long that we looped back, and the Warrior breakfast that awaited us, was wonderful. I remember the other recruits scarfing their faces with the cake that was provided, and ultimately got sick. I could barely eat, and I was just plain exhausted. I was in a daze, and I couldn't believe that I really hiked over 50 miles in just a couple of days. Defeat was not an option, not when I was exhausted, hungry, or injured-- I could taste graduation in the air, and my ticket off the island.

"Mama, Mama can't you see? What the Marine Corps' done to me?
 I used to drive a Cadillac, now I am humping with a pack..
Mama, Mama can't you see? What the Marine Corps' done to me?
I used to wear Maybelline, now I am wearing cammie green..
Mama, Mama Cant you see?
What the Marine Corps’ done to me...
I'm walkin tall and feeling good,
I'm doing things I never thought I could."

(There are so many variations to this marching cadence..)

1 Amazing thoughts:

Peppermint Patty Tuesday, November 08, 2011  

I can totally relate. I injured my back in Admin School (PT obstacle course) and went to sick call immediately. Only to be given a bottle of Motrin.

Once I got to my permanent duty station (CLNC), it was painful to wear boots, PT, etc. because of my back. I had to beg and plead just to have an MRI done (of course XRays were done in abundance).

They determined I had a herniated disk in my lower back along with a pinched nerve.

I had 3 options...have surgery, go back to my unit never to complain again or get out.

Long story short, I got out, went and saw a civilian orthopedic surgeon (two to be exact) and they both told me that I had so much scar tissue in my back, that if they opened me up, it could be worse than it was now. I was also made aware that if the Navy doctors would have immediately sent me to physical therapy after my injury, I most likely would have made a complete recovery.

So, yes. I get your drift. I felt that I was robbed, too. Especially when I see my friends from bootcamp and Admin school RETIRING with 20+ years and only being in their late 30's, early 40's.

That could've been me, but there's no way to go back.